Death Toll In Iraq More Than A Number

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Editor:

I'd like to share a story that happened to me recently.

During a most welcome visit from our kids and grandkids from the Midwest, my 39-year-old stepson and I had a discussion about the current war in Iraq. I actually had a hard time believing what I was hearing. It made me wonder how many other good, honest, hard-working Americans still believe the same things.

I was told the war in Iraq was justified because:

  • Iraq was the country behind the 9/11 attacks.
  • Iraq has been and is the primary sponsor of terrorism and al-Qaida.
  • The U.S. has a responsibility to kill all the terrorists in the world.

When I pointed out that the first two weren't true and the last isn't possible, he made one more comment:

  • The war in Iraq isn't too bad, because we've been fighting there more than three years and only about an average of 800 American soldiers are being killed per year.

It was that last comment that really pushed my button. However, I resisted the instinctive response, and instead asked, "How many more bright, young American men and women have to die before this illegal and unnecessary war becomes unacceptable?"

The silence was deafening.

When confronted with the fact that more than 2,500 American soldiers have now been killed in Iraq, Tony Snow, the new White House press secretary, said, "It's a number."

Just another number. Like the 20,000 severely wounded American soldiers. Like the tens of thousands of American families that have suffered because one of their own came home in a coffin or disabled for life. And, like the uncounted tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians killed and uncounted tens of thousands of innocent Iraqi women and children wounded.

Yep, it's just another day and just another death.

And, to the warmongers in this administration, it's just another number.

Unless and until people like you and I stand up and demand accountability from our leaders, nothing will change. How do we do it? You've got a voice. Use it.

And, you've got a vote. Use it. Support candidates who demand accountability. Remaining silent and doing nothing is no longer an option.

Larry Brophy, Payson

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